Tag Archives: elves

Hunting for a Christmas Tree in Miami

How’s that song go?….

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas….NOT!

I’m not complaining.  It’s just different.

It’s humid.

I’m sweaty.

I’m writing this sitting outside on our lanai – nice.  But there is a bug flying around big enough to be one of Santa’s elves delivering Christmas gifts.  He has circled me twice now and I’ve noticed he has a sign on his back that says, “Coal Delivery.”

That explains a lot.

We finally managed to get our Christmas lights up two weeks ago.  The thought was: “it’s too damn hot but if we don’t do it now we’re not going to.”  The snowflake lights that looked so pretty on our front porch in Alaska….twinkling against the snow…. still make me smile when I come home at night.  I just snort and roll my eyes at the idiocy of the concept:

Snow in Miami?

Sure, right after the Devil goes down to Georgia and sets up a half way house for wayward souls looking for salvation on a one-way road to heaven.

Of course my four potted palms on the deck add a nice backdrop to the snowflakes.

Obviously, the next step is acquiring the Christmas tree.

In Alaska – getting our last tree involved the following:

1.  On Saturday morning you dress in Carharts, put on your snow boots and grab your work gloves.

2.  Head out to the forest with your saw.

3.  Find your tree and cut it down.

4.  Tie it to the roof of your car.

5.  Once home, wrap it in a tarp to avoid leaving a trail of needles through the house.

6.  Set up the tree!

Here, in Miami, you go to a tree circus.  Complete with red and white canvas tent.  Oh Christmas Trees…..oh no!  Please tell me they give you a shot of vodka before you enter.

Before us, in the first big tent were about 20 trees standing up on display.  It’s like a fashion runway for trees.  This is ridiculous.  Nothing like Glacier Gardens in Juneau.  We would also get our trees from Cindy and Steve.  I loved how Cindy, just a petite little thing….would wrangle them away from the pile and compare the different varieties: smell, needles, height, color…all according to what I was looking for in the tree.

You see, I’m very technical when it comes to getting a Christmas tree.

Last night, at the Miami Tree Circus…when you walk through the gate they simply ask you what size of tree you would like:

Over 8 foot, 7 foot, 6 foot or 5 foot.

My response: short and fat.

Our helper elf, who stuck to us like sand on wet feet (which is more annoying than grass on wet feet I’ve now decided) I noticed had shockingly….shockingly…..let me say it again….


amazing eyes.  They were like liquid gold.  I’ve never seen eyes like that on a human.  Which made me wonder if he might practice voodoo.  Then I thought, anyone who sells Christmas trees can’t be a bad person and I am probably just enjoying way too much of American Horror Story: Coven, this year and should probably just get a grip.

But seriously – wow.

This young man followed us from tree to tree to tree.  They were short, but not fat enough really.  If I can’t get short and fat, I’d prefer a Charlie Brown tree.  Tall and bare.  I’ll even take a few branches and stick them in a pot and call it good.

Tent two…yep.  Tent two. Had about 6 trees in various sized that were…are you ready?  This was a definite first for me.

Flocked white.

Real trees, sprayed with paper mache.

They were lovely from a distance.  Then when you got closer it kinda looked like someone  went wild with a bunch of wet paper.  Well, technically that’s what they did.  It was lumpy and fell off in your hand.  I immediately thought of the cat.  We’d come out one morning and there she’d be covered in white crap…our fat mostly black cat gone wild with the Christmas tree….now encased in a self made paper mache mold….courtesy of Oh Christmas Tree Circus.

Oh hell no, I think we’ll pass on that disaster just waiting to happen.

Next tent.

More trees lined up.  There’s a short and fat tree that I like but he tells us it’s 7 feet tall.


7 feet tall.

I look at the tree and stare….eye ball to eye ball with it.  This isn’t 7 feet tall.

Blink.  Blink. Blink. Blink.

OMG.  Are you telling me because of the tree’s pointy thing on top….that one branch, which is like the tree penis? ….you’re calling this tree 7 feet tall?

“Yes, we had to cut some off the bottom but it used to be 7 feet.”

Okay well it’s only 5 1/2 feet now.

“Still 7 foot price.”

By now I’m thinking those S H O C K I N G L Y amazing eyes have some kind of trance inducing powers but I’m not buying into it.  This is obviously the tree I like, but I flatly refuse to pay for a 7 foot tree when I am getting a short & fat tree.

Back to the first tent.  We need to wrap this up cause I’m starting to sweat….and it’s after work and I want to go home.

I go back to my original tree.  Eric and I look at each other, a little disheartened at the whole experience.  We agree.  We’ll take it.

The tree elf takes the tree to the register, we pay $65 and he puts a fresh cut on the bottom.  Eric goes to get the tarps to wrap it – thinking easier now than later.  Then we find out two things….

First, they sell tree stands, which we didn’t have, so we bought the tree stand…another $30 and our elf puts it on and levels the tree for us.  Fabulous!

Second, our elf slid our tree into a tree size fishnet stocking.  NO TARP REQUIRED!  How cool is that?!

With the short and fat tree tied to the roof of the car we headed home.

In Alaska, we always let the tree have an overnight to “rest and warm up” in the house.  The limbs relax with the heat of the house.  Obviously, we decided to let the Miami tree “rest” overnight as well. As far as I can tell there isn’t any fir trees in Miami – this poor thing is probably sweating to death.  Yes, if I look at the tree, I do think it has relaxed a bit since it’s arrived.  The branches are a little looser – not so pinched up.

The fir is saying the same thing I say every day: “Hallelujah!  Air conditioning!”





One Holiday at a Time

There’s a man down the street who all summer worked on revitalizing his yard.  His home sits on the corner and he drudged out the land down nearly to the magma core.  Next came several types of soil, followed by apparently several types of grass seed.  I say  several types of grass seed because the grass came up in different shades.  He should have mixed the seeds together and then spread them.  Throwing a handful here and there made his yard look like a patchwork quilt done by a blind person.

Dark green here.

Light green over there.

Clump of dark green here.

Patch of light green over there.

He put in a lovely brick walkway from the driveway to the front door and two beautiful lamp posts highlighting the path.

All of this property enhancement, seemingly serves one purpose: to showcase his Christmas light display.  It started off innocently enough with a few strands around the front door.  Low and behold by this evening there are so many colors and random twinkling going on someone is bound to have a seizure.

Really?  What the hell?  It’s not even Thanksgiving!  Up go the outside lights, two story tall inflatable Santa displays and armies of plastic figures.  Not to mention the houses I’ve seen with the Christmas trees proudly displayed in the front window.

Side note:  Actually, a neighbor of ours, kept their Christmas tree up until EASTER last year.   They could have started a fire, that tree was so old.  I’d would have been afraid to sneeze in their living room for fear all 120,000 needles would have dropped to the floor.

Blame the retailers.  They can’t wait to get into the next sale season.  What ever happened to enjoying the holidays as they arrive on the calendar?  I can’t take two months of ANY holiday celebration.  I’ve packed up my toys and gone home long before the true festivities even begin.

And really, spreading out the holiday season only causes one thing to linger in our minds:  the true dread of the family meal.  It’s like ripping off a band-aid.  Let’s get this over with and fast.  How many people do you know that truly, down deep in the pit of their little toe, enjoy the family gathering?  Let’s be honest.  Anyone who doesn’t have some type of mild heart burn is probably nipping on something.

Of course I’m right.

It starts the second week of November.  They can’t even wait for Thanksgiving week.  Retailers have put up Christmas trees in their entrances and colored our world in shades of green and red, furry white cuffs, jingle bells, flashing lights and holiday cheer.

Not to mention, the Thanksgiving turkey is pissed off.  He doesn’t even get a chance to make it to the table before everyone is celebrating the big, fat, jolly guy.  How embarrassing to stand up at the holiday mascot support group and acknowledge your holiday has been cut short so people can celebrate some old guy who works with midgets in the northern tundra making toys.  Not to mention, insists he travels via flying reindeer…..one which has a glowing nose for a GPS.


And when was the last time anyone did a random drug screening on Santa?

I’m just curious.